Political Leaders Eulogise Tjitendero

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Despite his political affiliation to the Swapo Party the late Dr MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Tjitendero was praised by various opposition groups for his impartiality and for being an “apostle of fairness” when he served as the first Speaker of the National Assembly. Speakers from the different political parties encouraged others to emulate his example. Not only was the late Tjitendero who was bestowed a State funeral at Heroes’ Acre a member of the Constituent Assembly, but was also highly regarded as one of the main architects of the country’s Constitution. As Speaker, he built and reformed the parliamentary system, committee by committee to turn it into a transparent and effective forum for legislation and debate on national and regional issues. Speaking at the memorial service President Hifikepunye Pohamba said that as Speaker, Tjitendero kept the house in order with fairness and transparency. “Some of us who worked with him as members of the National Assembly clearly remember that at times his impartiality as Speaker did not please some of the Swapo Party colleagues. Indeed, it was through his impartiality that he later earned his respect and admiration from all political parties represented in the National Assembly,” said Pohamba who has known the late Tjitendero for 42 years. Having joined Swapo in 1962, Tjitendero had carried out each one of the assignments given to him with “flying colours” according to the President. It was with this vigour and determination that earned him respect and admiration not only among the Swapo Party leadership, but also among the rank and file. “No wonder that at the time of his death, the late Tjitendero was one of the leaders who held senior leadership positions in the party, namely, as a Member of the Central Committee as well as the political bureau,” explained the President. During the solemn event, speaker upon speaker of various political parties praised the late Tjitendero as a profound architect of the Namibian Parliament. “For 15 years as Speaker, he shaped that magnificent House out of nothing…and he’s the few amongst many to reach high political culture without any fear or favour and heroes are made of such stuff,” said President of the Congress of Democrats (CoD) Ben Ulenga. The honour of national hero was bestowed upon him when President Pohamba and the Government decided to bury him at Heroes’ Acre. This is the place where all Namibians irrespective of their political, racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds go and to honour those brave sons and daughters of Namibia who sacrificed their lives and those who during their lifetimes made tremendous and meaningful contributions to the liberation of the country and its people. President of the DTA Katuutire Kaura said, “MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© was not only Swapo, Sandra’s husband but he was ours, the 1,8-million Namibians,” and also those in Southern Africa as a whole. Touching moments also came during Kaura’s short eulogy when he noted that he was present when the late Tjitendero tied the knot with Sandra in the USA. Although scepticism was there for a long time in the mind of Kaura during the late Tjitendero’s reign as Speaker, all these doubts disappeared within a month or two. “He was gentle, but firm and fair,” he said, noting that although he may no longer be with us, “as long as his name exists, he’ll never be forgotten.” Many who came a long way with the late Tjitendero paid homage to his great dedication as a nationalist, fearless freedom fighter and compassionate leader. “His legacy will go down in the history of Namibia as a first renowned Speaker of the National Assembly,” said UDF President Justus //Garoeb. He stated that Tjitendero was a wonderful personality in the House who had sound human relations, wisdom and wealth of experience behind him. Not only was the late Tjitendero a good advisor, he was a tolerant and exemplary man. “The privilege was being with him because one could learn a lot from him,” noted Chief Riruako of NUDO Party. “He was never one-sided and stood for his principles in what he thought as just,” said Riruako. MAG’s President Kosie Pretorius said, “His temperament, his character, his attitude and the way he dealt with human relations issues made a deep impression on me as far as I’m concerned. He became an icon for me, so let’s follow his example,” said Pretorius. The memorial service in honour of the first Speaker of the National Assembly at Parliament Gardena on Friday ended with gospel songs from VM6 Group and a hymn from singer Sharon //Garoes.